Feature

Also of interest ... novels of the moment

<em>Glover&rsquo;s Mistake</em> by Nick Laird; <em>Everything Matters!</em> by Ron Currie Jr.; <em>I&rsquo;m</em> <em>So Happy for You</em> by Lucinda Rosenfeld; <em>How I Became a F

Glover’s Mistake by Nick Laird (Viking, $26)Nick Laird is “a dangerous writer,” said Ron Charles in The Washington Post. He “comes on all wit and chumminess” in his second novel, setting up what looks like “a buddy story about two London roommates in love with the same woman.” But the guy we’re most drawn to, a curmudgeonly cultural blogger, doesn’t take rejection well, and as the story “turns imperceptibly toward the poisonous effects of bitterness,” you discover that the questions Laird raises about culture—and about friendship—“can’t be laughed off.”

Everything Matters! by Ron Currie Jr. (Viking, $26)Ron Currie Jr. pays “no heed to ordinary narrative conventions,” said Janet Maslin in The New York Times. In his second book, this “startlingly talented” young writer introduces us to a precocious protagonist who learns in utero that the world has only 36 years left. The boy’s personal journey toward doom somehow takes “the form of a joy ride,” and even when Currie seems to be taking one risk too many, the book is held together by his clear conviction that life’s every moment must be treasured.

I’m So Happy for You by Lucinda Rosenfeld(Back Bay, $14)“It’s a rare page-turner” that draws its suspense from a collapsing friendship, said Margaret Wappler in the Los Angeles Times. In Lucinda Rosenfeld’s “quick-footed, juicy” new novel, dull Wendy Murman goes green with envy when her dazzling friend Daphne secures the perfect life overnight, and the story works because neither pal is particularly unpleasant. “Rosenfeld seems to want only the best” for both parties to the relationship’s poisoning. “The denouement isn’t fierce, but funny and wistful.”

How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely (Black Cat, $14)“I’m hard-pressed to name” a funnier book from the past 20 years than this new sendup of the publishing world, said Elinor Lipman in The Washington Post. The premise may seem thin: A sad-sack writer trying to make an ex-girlfriend jealous decides to concoct a schmaltzy best-seller and succeeds brilliantly. “But just when I thought there couldn’t be anything left to mock,” along came “another brilliant passage” mimicking, say, an editor’s mark-ups, or a hookup at a writers conference. What’s more, the novel’s con man is likable.

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